Community Champion Award: Jalen Rose
In recognition of his philanthropy and charitable sponsorship, Jalen Rose, ESPN analyst and 13-year NBA veteran, received the first-ever Black Enterprise Community Champion Award.
“I have won community awards before, but this one is especially humbling since it came after my NBA career and is being presented by Black Enterprise,” says Rose.
The award recognizes individuals working to promote and encourage volunteerism, business development, minority empowerment, education, wealth preservation and leadership in their hometowns.
Rose, who was also listed as one of “America’s Leading Black Philanthropist” by BE in 2005 founded The Jalen Rose Foundation in 2000, which aims to create life-changing opportunities for underserved youth through the development of unique programs and the distribution of grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. The grants focus on sports and education and are distributed in Rose’s hometown of Detroit and other communities in need.
The foundation has distributed nearly $1 million to charities including support for the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, victim’s assistance programs for those affected by Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 tsunami disaster in Asia, an endowment for a scholarship at the University of Michigan, and five four-year scholarships annually to Detroit high school seniors based on academic achievement, goals, extracurricular and community activities, and financial need. Each year one of the scholars is selected from Southwestern high school, Rose’s alma mater.
“It’s important that people with influential roles in society take the initiative to help others in need. I hope that my charity efforts motivate others to get more actively involved in their communities,” he says. “Let’s make philanthropy a chain reaction and everyone start to pay it forward.”
— Tamara E. Holmes, Maya Payne Smart, LaToya Smith, and Tennille M. Robinson contributed to this article.